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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

232                     THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM                 CHAP.
•
to the Ministry of Education whose good intentions and indefatigable industry were beyond dispute, but whose horizon remained that of his early pedagogic training. None could fail to respect him, but his methods stand condemned by the results. With his many excellent if somewhat dour qualities, he had a narrowly utilitarian conception of his task, believing in quantity rather than quality. Tied overmuch to his office desk, whence he issued innumerable rules and regulations, he was seldom, if ever, it would appear, disposed to*eonsult or to consider outside opinion—least of aU Egyptian opinion. He kept the machinery of education and its results to himself, and it is because of this secrecy that the publication, during his absence, of the Report which for the first time told the Egyptian parents the whole truth with regard to their boys, as shown in the results of the examinations that for most of them are the be-all and end-all of education, fell on them like a bomb-shell. How little they are themselves capable of realising its true significance they have shown by venting their first resentment in a demand that the standards of examination should at once be lowered.
Wiser conclusions are, however, beginning to be drawn, and they should be assisted by the appointment of a new Educational Adviser, Mr. Paterson, who, though he has had very little professional experience and only in the first years of his career in Egypt, has gained general and genuine popularity amongst Egyptians, as well as Europeans, as an able and broad-minded official in the Finance Department. It must be hoped that, before starting on new experiments, Mr. Paterson will institute a careful inquiry into the whole educational system required for a country such as Egypt is. Sir Thomas Sadler's Commission, which, though technically limited to the Calcutta University, has probed many of the wider problems of Indian education, has shown how the best native opinion can be rallied to the cause of sound education by giving a full and patient hearing to Indian witnessep and justi-rom the Egyptian               1